I felt the warmth of the sun on my face today for the first time in months. I’m holding an icy cold beer, and I’m finished with a work day that was mostly easy, and quite rewarding. And, I’m being hit on – big time!
This hunter is no slouch either, obviously athletic, and from the look of the clothes, there’s some money here. Good hair, nice tan, all carried with a striking presence. I’m well aware that I’m a married man, but it needs to be noted that I’m far removed from my home zip code and area code; so technically, I can do anything I want without penalty. If you Google The Geneva Convention and go to section 115, it’s all right there. I’ve never actually looked, but this is what I’ve been told.
The German accent is absolutely charming as hell too, but unfortunately – he just isn’t my type. My man is simply barking up the wrong tree. I don’t roll that way. I don’t judge, and I don’t hate, I leave that for Higher Beings. Although I don’t like to disappoint anybody, I’ll have to disappoint this guy. He’ll probably survive…probably.
The probably, is not a definitely because as vain and arrogant as this sounds; I’m looking marvelous. I can’t blame a man with confused hormones for being attracted to me tonight. The shirt I’m wearing brings out the earnest qualities of my soul as seen through the window of my steel-blue eyes. My freshly shaved head is as clean and round and smooth as a baby’s bottom. Speaking of bottoms – the jeans I’m wearing make my butt look like it was carved out of the finest Italian marble. To complete the package, I’m wearing topsiders with no socks – my ankles (maybe my best feature) are completely exposed. I can’t explain how it all came together – generally speaking, I’m not an attractive man. But tonight, it just happened. I knew when I walked out of my hotel room that magic was in the air.
If I were not a gentleman, I would be working this dude and half the female patrons of this fine establishment for free drinks and a plate of wings. I know women who use this tactic on a regular basis, and I’m sure there are dudes that do this sort of thing too. That’s just not my style. Again, no judging here, I just prefer to pay my own way.
So you’re probably asking, “What is it Large Man? What made the magic happen for you tonight?
I don’t know. It was a great day, but at the same time, it was nothing really special. In many ways it was just like any other day. Maybe the only thing different is that I had a chance to slow down and look around a little bit.
God’s favor was a contributing factor, I can’t overlook that. Some call it “luck”, I call it favor. I got a great parking space at the airport. I had some great deli at an “off the beaten path” sandwich shop. I ended up spending time with a couple of key people in my industry by maintaining my course and making “just one more call”. I didn’t plan on any of this, it just happened.
My daughter won her school Spelling Bee for the second year in a row – and while that success is all hers, it certainly adds some luster to my day. I’m so proud that my wife has created an environment at Casa Del Hombre Grande that allows a kid to be successful. This woman sends our children out into the cold, cruel world of academia feeling relaxed, comfortable, self-assured, safe, and loved. These are nice things for children to carry in their backpack as they step onto the bus…as they step into life. This happens every day – this is “normal” at our house. The thought always humbles me. My home is a good place to be.
I have struggled for things to write about for the last few months, I wasn’t seeing anything (in my head, or out in the world) that seemed worthy of a story. I didn’t see anything, because I stopped looking for some reason. Anything I tried to write just wasn’t good enough. I’ve received a few notes recently that were (loosely) related to the subject of Good Enough vs. Perfect. I’ve been having a disjointed debate on that subject in my head for a while now, and today…probably around 1:30 this afternoon (after finishing that sandwich), the debate reached a conclusion. It occurred me that I’m not capable of perfect – nobody is. If you are a writer, and you realize that good enough is going to have to work, and that it’s okay, you have found a good place to be. I’m sure this works if you are a salesman, a backhoe operator, a teacher, or a Mom who is sending her kids off to school. No things of man are perfect – except maybe my ankles.
So, armed with a fresh revelation, I land in my hotel parking lot with a decision to make. Car keys are in hand, I am ready to go. Do I drive 7 miles to the recommended micro-brew pub, or do I choose option B…TGI Fridays? I usually avoid chain restaurants (save Hooter’s & Outback) like the clap. For the most part, they have no soul, style, or general appeal to me, but I’m waffling tonight. Maybe I’m thinking, chain or not, TGI is better than a DUI, and TGI is in the same parking lot as my hotel. As I considered my options, and what I was in the mood for, I realized that I was feeling more thirsty than hungry. Fridays, here I come.
And it all came together just like that. It ended up being a good place to be.
Jessica and Matt are behind the bar. Jesse draws me a Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer. This usually respectable brew suffers a little tonight because the tap has flattened it out a bit. It’s not terrible, but it’s not a home run – what do you expect from a Fridays? I order a salad, (no shit, I really did) a gay man sits on one side of me at the crowded bar, and an idiot sits on the other side of me…and just like that, more magic.
I don’t have to share the dialog, but the action goes like this:
- Well dressed, carefully coiffed gentleman says nice things to me, admires my freshly shorn noggin (yet mentions nothing about my ankles…hmm?) and when I reply with only a moderately clever line, he laughs like he’s hearing Billy Ray’s Achy Breaky Heart for the first time. Yup…he’s gay alright.
- The bartenders notice, and smile at me, and gauge my level of discomfort. I’m fine. Not interested obviously, but there’s no trouble brewing – I’m more upset by my beer choice than anything else.
- On the other side of me sits an overweight, under loved, intolerant… person. He has the look of Jabba the Hut, but very little of Jabba’s charm. He orders a salad too – this is about all we had in common. As he notices the intent of my admirer, his level of discomfort could be measured on the Richter scale. He’s visibly shaken.
- I explain to the “friendly” guy that I’m not in the mood for conversation and that I just want to watch the game, eat my salad, have a beer, and try to figure out where the rash on my private parts came from. He gets the picture, finishes his Banana Daiquiri* and leaves without incident.
- Just as my dude get’s out of earshot, Matt the bartender pours another Pale Ale and hands it to me with a wink and a smile. I’m chuckling to myself over my admirer’s attraction because it was very open and obvious. This doesn’t happen every day, and to me, it was funny. Jabba interrupts my thoughts with a phlegm laden and rattled voice, “That guy’s lucky he didn’t come on to me.”
Now, this comment presented too many opportunities for humor – so many, that I overloaded my smart ass circuit board and just started laughing out loud at all the jokes inside my head. I finally settled down, and simply said through a broken smile, “I don’t think a dude like that would be attracted to a guy like you.” Jabba seemed surprised by my comment, maybe even a little hurt. Jessica overheard my remark and was forced to take her laughter to the other side of the bar. She couldn’t risk the tip!
He then made the expected comment about how I should have kicked the dude’s ass.
“I’m not a fighter,” I reply. “I couldn’t kick my own ass.”
This is true. Furthermore, this was not in any way, shape or form, an “ass kicking” worthy incident. It wasn’t comfortable by any means, but nobody was in any danger. It was just funny. Jabba was again disappointed when I wouldn’t join him in a hate filled lament about the decline of civilization. I didn’t feel that way; I just wanted to watch the game. I disappointed two men in one night – I might as well be back in the office.
And I’m not sure, but I don’t think the incident is gonna make me gay either. I’m not feeling gay at all right now, but I’ll check again in the morning.
While not fight worthy, the incident did make me want to settle up early, head back to room 1105, and start typing. Not fight worthy, but hopefully blog worthy. That’s for you dear readers to decide. I have been feeling a hunger to tell a tale for a few weeks, and this just flopped in my lap…in a TGI Fridays, south of the Mason – Dixon line, smack dab in the middle of a blessed life. This is a good place to be.
Thank you for reading.
The Large Man
*I don’t judge, and I don’t hate; but I’ll stereotype for the sake of humor. Just sayin…